December 14, 2016
That’s right folks, light up that city hall switchboard and let your elected representatives know that you don’t want the PIAC system revised in any way, shape or form. Tell ’em the Newsdog told ya to call, too!
You heard right folks: this past week a city council committee discussed revising the current PIAC system that directs spending on capital improvements projects in each council district, to give the city manager control over 65% of those funds for discretionary spending purposes. It’s called PIAC for a reason. Public Improvements Advisory Committee, emphasis on the committee part. Neighborhood associations, civic organizations and even individual citizens offer testimony on a variety of projects, ranging from multi-million dollar improvement projects to individual streetlight and alley paving projects. Each council district has a PIAC representative who hears testimony and prioritizes projects based on the greatest need to the community. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work, government from the bottom up, citizens taking an active role in their government.
But with the new revisions being discussed, the city manager would have authority over 65% of the PIAC budget, creating a huge slush fund for pet projects that could easily include cost over-runs from the toy train streetcar that’s already hemorrhaging cash. Apparently the city manager and council don’t trust the public or their PIAC representatives to direct capital spending in this here-now town. Keep in mind this is the same city manager that, with 3rd District Council support, tried to direct over $27 million that we don’t have toward the ailing 18th and Vine district, despite the fact that over $100 million has already been dumped there over a 20-year period with little or nothing to show for it. Giving the city manager the sole authority over roughly $45.5 million per annum leaves this conservative newspooch shuddering in our lil’ doggie boots.
Residents need to call City Hall and let their elected representatives know they don’t want the PIAC system manipulated to take away spending direction from neighborhoods. While the current system isn’t perfect, it gives the citizen taxpayer a voice in city government.